Volunteering to help Foster Children – CASA

I just returned from court. It was a very good day for me there. I have been advocating for three children and today, in court, they got to return home full time. I volunteer as a CASA which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for children in foster care, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.advocating for foster children

I had often wished that there was a volunteer store where people with time would come and pick up volunteer hours to help with the foster care system. Turns out that there is such a place. In my town it was at the YWCA and in your town there is such a place, too. Simply go here and find yours.

Last year, more than 77,000 CASA volunteers helped 234,000 children find safe, permanent homes. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA program. Unfortunately there are far more than 234,000 children that need CASAs. These children need you.advocating for foster children

I had assumed many things about families who have their children taken from them. I had assumed many things about foster parents. Turns out that most parents really love their children and will go to the ends of the earth to get them back. Turns out foster parents have amazing amounts of energy and patience. The social workers work very, very hard to do their best for the families, too.advocating for foster children

You will enjoy reading this lovely story about how a volunteer CASA helped a teenage girl named Jacke. With several phone calls and a few visits this CASA made all the difference for Jacke.

You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to be a volunteer. CASAs are people from all walks of life. They are simply people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.

It takes only a few hours of your time each month. A few hours that can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Hit that link and find your town’s CASA program. It will make a difference in your life, too.


all photos are from the CASA website



Bedroom Fantasy

I am still coming up with plans for my latest bedroom design. Spending some time on Pinterest helped with inspiration. There is one room I have loved  f o r e v e r. I sent the image of it to my niece years and years ago and I have seen it a number of times on different websites. Now that I finally need it I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Until last night. Ha!!! Success! I was afraid that once found it would not live up to my memory. It did! Yea! It was designed by Anne Coyle.Anne Coyle designHere is the other side of the room. I like how the television blends in with the art, etc.Anne Coyle design

My bed is going to be sitting in front of a window and so I have gathered some photos of rooms done well in that configuration. The first is a room designed by a fabulous Canadian named Tommy Smythe.bedroom designed by Tommy SmytheNext are three photos of the same room done three different ways. Styled by AB Chao. Fun!room styled by AB Chao

AB Chao designone-bedroom-3-ways-2I wish I had that many windows. Now comes a few photos for your enjoyment:MMR Interiors

MMR Interiors


BHGBHG from Little Green Notebook Those curtains are made from paint drop cloths. I will not be doing that. They look great, though.

Last one is just so much fun. Not a window in sight though there is a suggestion of one.from House and Home Magazine

House and Home

I lied. This is the last one. Pure fantasy! I can’t find the original link. I tried very hard.


Did you notice a theme besides beds in front of windows?





Treasures from My Mother’s Basement

I may have mentioned that recently I spent 5 days cleaning and organizing my mother’s basement. It’s one of those crusty basements that hold lots of mystery and treasure from 97 years of living. I do believe I found every roller shade that had ever been used on a window. All the moving boxes, neatly labeled and stacked for the next move, were folded and stored from 42 years ago. 1 million tea cups from both grandmothers were found. There were some wonderful treasures that I brought home. Costume jewelry from my Grandma Mabel. A beautiful liquor set my parents bought at auction. The bottle of perfume that I always thought was so elegant on my mother’s bureau.

grandma's pile of sparkly jewelrymy grandmas cameo earringspurple-liqueur-set

Madame Rochas Perfume

One Dozen Plates of Bacon and Eggs

My husband and I used to go out for breakfast a lot. I called the cafe our breakfast nook. My husband likes his bacon cooked. Not undercooked or deep-fried. Just cooked. Nice and crispy. He would try to order it so that the cook would understand how he liked it prepared. He tried asking for cooked bacon, crispy bacon, pretty bacon, perfect bacon, bacon with love. The restaurant finally got a cook who could make great bacon.  She was so good that he began to just order any old bacon and it always came out with lots of love. I took a few pictures with my old cell phone.

one dozen eggs

Doesn’t all that bacon look yummy? Can you tell which plate came out on someone’s birthday?

About a year ago someone got mad when they were sorting through the tickets and saw this one:

bacon and eggs order

Everyone got in trouble and the cook quit and things were never the same again. Now I make the bacon at home every morning.

Make-up Tips

Do you still apply your make-up the way you did in high school? Learning how to most effectively highlight one’s features takes a long time.  I am still learning.  I finally decided the best way to wear make-up was to try to look like I was not wearing any….that I was just naturally fresh and glowing.  Oh boy.

Up until about 18 months ago I was working in the fitness industry. It was so great looking forward to work everyday. I fell in love with health, women and movement. I never knew going to the gym could be so fun.

When I first began working in a women’s fitness center I noticed that not many people wear make-up when they work out. My impression of each woman’s beauty was based on their countenance and not on their skill with cover-up. As I began to see them outside of the gym it was a little freaky because they would look like a girl looks when she has put on her mother’s make-up. No one looked more beautiful with make-up on then when they were make-up free. I went home and washed my own face. I decided to face the world make-up free. It was hard.

I went without any make-up on until I could recognize myself in a mirror. Recognize my own beauty, as it were. It took more than a month. I still like a little mascara now and then and when I dress up fancy I like to have a little more fun with the paint.

There is nothing better at exposing our beauty than happiness and contentment. A close second is a delicious, healthy diet and lots of movement everyday.a collection of make-up

Designing my next tattoo (!)

When I was in my early 30’s my best friend moved away. We decided that we would make a plan to ease our sorrow by doing something a little naughty. A little shocking. We were moms and moms in the 90’s were not getting tattoos. Each of us picked a small design and we went in search of a tattoo artist in my friend’s new town (Eugene, OR). There were not very many tattoo shops from which to choose. We finally found one that didn’t frighten us and an old hippie named Doug tattooed a shooting star on my wrist and a treble clef onto my friend’s neck. Thus began a small, very slow-growing, addiction. Thank goodness tattoos have gotten so popular.

My latest idea is to put my cat, Angel, on my arm. You can see her above on the blog header and here:my cat, Angel

She is a difficult girl to photograph as she is very dark. I played around on Photoshop and came up with this:cat-tattoo-step-one

Then last week I was in a shop and found this great idea. Look!

A cat portrait by Ryan Berkley

A cat portrait by Ryan Berkley


My mother made me many, many cute dresses when I was a little girl. Thankfully school photographers captured many of them. Angel is about to get to wear one. But which one??

my school pictures

Back onto Photoshop for some very rough drafts…

Now it is a matter of choosing which angle most captures my little kitty and which dress would have her looking her best. Please cross your fingers that my tattoo artist is willing! I have been told “no” plenty of times.


cat tattoo with collar

Here I am getting my last tattoo.  It hurt!

Here I am getting my last tattoo. It hurt!

Play Ball!

colorful baseball bats

can you tell it is a girl’s team?

It’s Little League Season. Our family loves meeting up at the park to watch a game and talk, talk, talk. I loved going to my brother’s baseball games when we were young. I am not an athlete and it always amazed me to see the kids be so able to do all that great stuff while making it look easy and fun. My grandniece is most definitely an athlete and she certainly makes it all look easy and fun.

My brother captured the action shots & the fans.

girls baseball helmetsrunning homealmost catch the ballcheer motivationfans

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